Tuesday, April 24, 2007

From the Archives – The Business Plot

In 1933, retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler testified before Congress that he had been approached by a group of businessmen to be a central member in a coup d'état to overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt and take control of the United States government. The committee that investigated the allegation agreed that a plot to do this did in fact exist but no one was charged with a crime and there were no further investigations into the matter. In what is an odd sidebar note to history it’s interesting to look at the central players who were accused of participating in the conspiracy and note their place in the field of conspiracy theory.

Alleged co-conspirator Gerald MacGuire was a bond salesman for Grayson Murphy and Robert Sterling Clark. Murphy was the director of JP Morgan’s Guaranty Trust bank and was awarded the “Order of the Crown of Italy” by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Murphy as also an associate of “Wild Bill” Donovan, director of the OSS (forerunner of the CIA). Clark is reported to have served under Butler during the Boxer Rebellion and was an international businessman with military contracts both in the US and Germany during WWII. MacGuire had spent 6 months in Europe prior to approaching Butler, studying the tactics of Mussolini and Hitler.

Alleged co-conspirator Bill Doyle was the State Commander of the American Legion of Massachusetts. He also had connections to JP Morgan.

Alleged co-conspirator Al Smith was a one-time Presidential Nominee of the Democratic Party and former Governor of New York. He was also the leader of the American Liberty league, an organization that was formed to counter President Roosevelt in 1934 and it’s most notable members and benefactors included members of the DuPont family as well as the leaders of US Steel, GM, Standard Oil, Chase Bank and Goodyear.

Alleged co-conspirator Irénée du Pont, an heir to the DuPont fortune and former President of DuPont 1919 to 1925. Was also on the board of Directors of GM.

That’s quite a Who’s Who of early 20th Century American business. Such drastic measures are un-necessary with the current status quo in Washington. Big business lobbyists are well known to actually write the bills that are ultimately passed, giving them sweeping power and profits. The current administration is not simply big business friendly, it is big business personified. The energy sector has had secret meetings with the Vice President. Career non-partisan civil servants have been chased from every government department at all levels to be replaced with the sycophants of big business. Government services have been privatized and given to enormous multi-national corporations.

In America, we have had a silent, bloodless coup.

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